After the Conservative MPs in UK directed their ire towards China for downplaying the threat of coronavirus, a London-based Conservative think tank has explored possibilities of legally suing China on 10 possible grounds.
The Henry Jackson Society has compiled in its 'Coronavirus Compensation?' report that "China should be sued under international law for trillions of dollars for its initial cover-up of the coronavirus pandemic which has caused more than 60,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in economic damage," London bureau of The Sunday Morning Herald reported.
The report by the think-tank said that damages caused by China amount to at least the £3.2 ($6.5 trillion), which is being spent by G7 nations. It should prop up their domestic economies because the governments forced their citizens to stay at home in order to contain the virus’ spread.
The report emphasised that China owes it to the Australians too, the amount of the compensation that came from Prime Minister Scott Morrison's unprecedented $130 billion in government support for workers and businesses.
UK's observations and reports are in contrast to what China thinks. Senior Chinese figures, including China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, have "endorsed speculative and groundless claims that the virus was imported to Wuhan by the United States military, instead of emerging at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where wild, live animals were traded", said the Sunday Morning Herald report.
The report says that China could be sued under 10 possible legal avenues, including the International Health Regulations. These regulations became more stringent after the SARS outbreak. China also tried to cover up that outbreak.
If China was responsible enough to provide accurate information at an early juncture, "the infection would not have left China,” the report reads. It was only on December 31, China reported to the WHO about the disease and said "there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission".
On the other hand, China reprimanded its whistle blower medics like Li Wenliang. "Some were confident the disease was spreading between humans before this date."
The news reports in South China Morning Post cited Chinese government documents that identified nearly 200 cases of coronavirus by December 27.
As per the The Henry Jackson Society, China acted contrary to the International Health Regulations that expect the nations to monitor and share data related to the spread, severity, and transmission of any pathogens that are potentially transmissible internationally.
China downplayed the data and punished the doctors who sought to tell the truth.
The report calls for global courage and solidarity to take action against China.
The sequence of events and their knowledge says that "the Chinese Communist Party’s response to COVID-19 was in breach of international law".
WHO provides structures to bring suit against China under the International Health Regulations.
Other options could involve using the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration, the World Trade Organisation, bilateral investment treaties and even the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Domestic courts and Chinese courts could also be possible avenues, the report said.
The co-author of the report Matthew Henderson said the Chinese people were also the victims of their government's negligence. They are suffering because of CPC.
"By computing the cost of damage caused to advanced economies and assembling a series of possible legal processes to which the rules-based order can have recourse, we offer a sense of how the free world might seek recompense for the appalling harm the CCP has done,” Mathew said in a report Sunday Morning Herald.